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Modernist Cuisine at Home Hardcover – 29 Oct 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: The Cooking Lab; Pck Slp Sp edition (29 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982761015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982761014
  • Product Dimensions: 28.2 x 6.6 x 34.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Modernist Cuisine at Home is destined to change the way we cook and the way we use recipes. For all of us who cook regularly, this book opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It is full of insights that encourage us to try something new and that teach us something on every single page. --Martha Stewart

Modernist Cuisine at Home offers useful techniques and solutions that expand our abilities, and it provides us with a practiced and thorough understanding of why things happen the way they do. Most importantly, it ignites a curiosity within and compels us to ask ourselves not What should we make for dinner? but rather, What can we make for dinner? --Thomas Keller

...Nathan Myhrvold and his team, responsible last year for the food-publishing triumph of the decade, the six-volume Modernist Cuisine, have now scaled down and domesticated many of the advanced techniques... Of these, sous vide cooking is the most likely to find a place in the home kitchen, as it has in mine, and Modernist Cuisine at Home treats the subject in glorious detail. --Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue

About the Author

NATHAN MYHRVOLD, founder of The Cooking Lab, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home, and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, has had a passion for science, cooking, and photography since he was a boy. By the age of 13, Nathan had already cooked the family Thanksgiving feast and transformed the household bathroom into a darkroom.

Myhrvold holds a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics as well as a master s degree in economics from Princeton University. He holds additional master s degrees in geophysics and space physics and a bachelor s degree in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles. At Cambridge University, Myhrvold did postdoctoral work with Stephen Hawking in cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space-time, and quantum theories of gravitation, all before starting a software company that would be acquired by Microsoft.

As his career developed, he still found time to explore the culinary world and photography. While working directly for Bill Gates as the chief technology officer at Microsoft, Nathan was part of the team that won the Memphis World Championship Barbecue contest; he worked as a stagier at Chef Thierry Rautureau s restaurant Rover s, in Seattle; he then took a leave of absence to earn his culinary diploma from École de Cuisine La Varenne, in France.

Nathan retired from Microsoft in 1999 to found Intellectual Ventures and pursue several lifelong interests in photography, cooking, and food science. During this time, some of his photographs were published in America 24/7 (DK Publishing, Inc., 2003) and Washington 24/7 (DK Publishing, Inc., 2004). Unable to find practical information about sous vide cooking, he decided to write the book he felt was missing one that provided a scientific explanation of the cooking process, the history of cooking, and the techniques, equipment, and recipes involved in Modernist cooking. Inspired by this void in cooking literature, he decided to share the science of cooking and wonders of Modernist cuisine with others, hoping to pass on his own curiosity and passion for the movement.

In the process of creating his first book, Nathan founded The Cooking Lab, hired an interdisciplinary team that included scientists, research chefs, and writers, and published the much-acclaimed six-volume, 2,438-page Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, in 2011. That set was followed by Modernist Cuisine at Home, in 2012, which applies the insights of the original book in a format designed for home cooks. In 2013, he wrote The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, and The Cooking Lab partnered with Inkling to publish the Modernist Cuisine at Home app.

MAXIME BILET was educated in the humanities at Skidmore College and graduated with highest honors from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. Before joining the culinary team at The Cooking Lab, Bilet completed stages at Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar, The Fat Duck, and Auberge de l'Ile in London.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has just arrived and already I can't praise it enough. To get some idea of the sheer content and breadth of this book - check out the content list on their site: [...] - I can't even begin to review the detail of the topics covered but will give a couple of lines on who it may suit.

I'd describe myself as an enthusiastic home cook with a growing shelf of cooking books and countertop of kitchen gadgets (including a sous vide cooker). I'm happy to take time over recipes but don't possess the skills or resources of a professional kitchen.

I have read (or at least dipped into) a large number of cookbooks which have excellent content including the full version of modernist cuisine. The recipes that inspire you in the likes of the Fat Duck Cookbook, Under Pressure and titles of similar calibre are mainly beyond what one can reasonably hope to replicate in the home kitchen due to all the individual parts that go into each dish. This book manages to contain similar dishes but quickly gets to the crux of why something should be cooked in a certain way, explains it simply and gives an interesting recipe that incorporates it (without requiring 8 other parts to be prepared before plating). The stunning photography challenges any coffee table cookbook yet this is not a book that is likely to remain there. There are so many recipes that will inspire you and all are accessible to a (enthusiastic) home cook.

It's printed on the highest quality art paper and includes a cooking proof kitchen manual that includes all the recipes on washable, tear resistant paper. If you have a passion for cooking (or know someone that does) just buy the book - it's well worth the cost and there's no way you can be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most recipes require some novel equipment for your kitchen (e.g. sous-vide equipment, ice cream maker, smoker, NO2/CO2 siphon). If you are not interested in buying some of this equipment, this book (and style of cooking) just is not for you. Nothing wrong with that; just don't buy the book to become disappointed.

This should be your first book on modernist cooking (or molecular gastronomy or whatever you want to call it). I like the focus on every-day cooking as opposed to fancy cooking
- it makes it easier to take some of the techniques on board. (I do own the big Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, which is more encyclopaedic and directed towards professional chefs its an overwhelming book.) In contrast, the current book only makes use of equipment that easily can be bought in most large kitchen stores. If I had written this publication, I would have pushed the envelope a little bit further, but I understand the choice made my its authors. Naturally, there is quite a bit of overlap in content between the two books, but the authors have really written a new book. The recipes all seems to be new. They must have continued to experiment after the first publication and then decided to write it all up. So if you are an amateur chef like me that feels a bit overwhelmed by the big set, you will like this book.
If you are a professional chef, I think this book is for you as its easy to digest and let you then use your creativity.

The book provides a lot of recipes that are variations on a theme. In the regard the book resembles Ash's John Ash: Cooking One on One : Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher. Even though that book does not have any modernist cuisine at all only classic cuisine that is tried & tested.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is probably the best cook book I've bought, which given the price, arguably it should be. I love that you get a plastic coated version of the recipes that you can have out in the kitchen, while the reference volume can remain in the case. Its very technical, so only worth buying if you are interested in the chemistry and so on of cookery; and I think it deals with that whole aspect better than any Heston Blumenthal book (of which I have a number). I really rate this book, and notwithstanding the substantial price, think its good value.
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Modernist Cusine at home is a fantastic book demonstrating how to use the science in a home environment. It is a practical guide to "how to get it done"; whereas the original Modernist Cuisine goes in details on why and takes no short cuts and makes no compromises. In short, it is the volume which pulls the first set together for those without an extensive professional kitchen and unlimited access to ingredients and equipment.

The focus of the book is on techniques and use of equipment which are new or recently had a renaissance. Favorite equipment includes pressure cooker, water bath / CVAP oven and vacuum sealer. As many do not have a water bath and vacuum sealer, makeshift alternative solutions are given. Common to the equipment is that their best use can often be explained by science, thus taking the guesswork out of the equation.

The sections focus on common dishes, such as pizza, burgers, steaks, roast chicken, salmon, vegetables and pies. Many of the recipes offer alternative variations, encouraging the cook to use the fundamental technique while creating their own dishes. By using the on common dishes, it becomes more clear how the techniques can then be applied to many other tried, tested and true recipes.

The book is not meant as an entry level cook book for someone who needs to learn some tricks to keep themselves fed. It is geared towards those who want to learn how to make the most out of available tools and characteristics of various foods, and raise the flavor to a new level. Although in no way necessary, it is my belief this book will inspire more to buy the first set, so as to gain a deeper understanding.

The book keeps the extremely high standard for food photography, a pure delight to look at, also making it a great book for the coffee table!
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